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Showing posts from July, 2013

Conducting an Internal ITSM Asssessment

One of my followers recently asked about approaches to performing an organizational ITSM assessment.   I’ve summarized some of his questions: 1.       While surveys, interviews and workshops are assessment methods, would focused interviews with individuals pertinent to the process being assessed be a good approach?   2.       Should my final assessment score for a process be an average of several people’s maturity level ratings on that process? 3.       Should my assessment only include participants who are directly involved with that process? Assessments should take a well-rounded approach to gathering information, input and feedback.   It’s not a one-size-fits-all.   If you have the ability to conduct one-on-one interviews with key stakeholders, that’s a great way to encourage dialogue through open-ended questions.   While the results may not be as measurable as some other assessment techniques, interviews provide the unique opportunity for deeper probing and fo

VOI and ROI of Release and Deployment Management

I was recently asked about the ROI and VOI of Release and Deployment Management.   Let me start by acknowledging that there is a lot of confusion about the difference between Release and Deployment Management and Change Management.     Change Management is a risk management, governance process.     Release Management is more actionable – it is about bringing one or more changes to life through defined pre and post production activities.    You could almost call it the DevOps process. The growing requirement   for rapid (some would say continuous) deployment does not undermine the need for quality releases.     In fact, a structured approach to rapid deployment is more critical than ever since there is less time to flush out errors.   You can make the process more agile by building release models for different types of releases.   The models can match the rigor associated with building, testing, implementation testing and deployment with the complexity, risk, business n

ITSM Education and Training For Everyone

In 1911, Frederick Winslow Taylor initiated the modern practice of business management. In his work Principles of Scientific Management , Taylor put forth the idea that running and managing a business is a science based on data and proven methods, rather than a series of ad hoc, unguided and uncontrolled actions. Unfortunately, Taylor was a victim of his day and age. He had good intentions in putting forth “scientific management”, but based his ideas on some flawed principles. Taylor stated one these principles in this way: “Now one of the very first requirements for a man who is fit to handle pig iron as a regular occupation is that he shall be so stupid and so phlegmatic that he more nearly resembles in his mental make-up the ox than any other type. The man who is mentally alert and intelligent is for this very reason entirely unsuited to what would, for him, be the grinding monotony of work of this character. Therefore the workman who is best suited to handling pig iron is un

Best Practice as a Meme

When looking at ITSM best practices we need to look at the culture of our organizations and understand how we would transform our organizations into value-laden delivery mechanisms. A culture is just the "known environment in which we live and work." Cultures are organic constructs--they are grown and guided, not imposed or dictated. Every person, group and organization has its own culture. The culture of an organization is really the aggregation of the individual or group cultures found within the organization. As a result if the culture of an individual, group or organization is not an environment focused on delivering value to customers, then transformation should occur. So how do we go about transforming our cultures? We can look to some of the liberal arts for assistance in this. From the study of sociology we find the concept of "memes".   meme--an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture . Many of you might

“Meeting” is not a four letter word

At one time or another, we have all opened our email, only to find a meeting invite and think (fill in the bad word of your choice) Different organizations communicate and collaborate in different ways, depending on the message, decision, or topic at hand.   Under certain circumstances, a virtual or physical meeting may be the best vehicle for making a decision or collaborating on a common objective.    While most meetings strive to be well-controlled, brief, and focused on facilitating a set of actions, this does not always happen. Here are some simple and effective ways to ensure that a meeting is a success: ·         Establish and communicate a clear agenda in advance.   This will allow people to prepare properly and will help the facilitator prevent his or her meeting from being hijacked by one of the attendees. ·        Most organizations have a governing set of rules for participation in a meeting. No biting, scratching, spitting, or name-calling is encouraged.  

Balance in Operation II

Last year I delivered an article on the challenges that IT organizations face in trying to balance opposing goal and objectives especially in light of the fact that in every organization the one constant is change.   The focus of that piece was the tension between the perspective that IT is a set of technology components (Internal IT view) and that IT is a set of services (External business view).    All process and functions in Design, Transition and Operation have been design to meet the changing needs delivered by Strategy and CSI.   Insuring that the resulting services continue to deliver defined and agreed levels of utility and warranty and doing so while delivering an overall value to the business.   This forms a conflict between maintaining the status quo and adapting to changes in the business and technological environments.   One of the key roles of service operation together with design and transition is to deal with this tension between these ever changing priorities. S